Wheels turn on revised GMSF process
Nine Greater Manchester local authorities are preparing to form a committee to progress the alternative Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, dubbed Places for Everyone.
Stockport Council withdrew from the much-maligned GMSF in December and the remaining nine boroughs opted in principle to forge ahead with a new plan to allocate housing and employment sites across the conurbation.
This Friday, at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s executive board, Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan councils will each be asked to hold full council meetings to consult on the formation of a new committee to draw up a refreshed plan.
Each authority will also be asked to nominate its lead committee member – this is expected to be the leader of each council – and to delegate the preparation of the Places for Everyone plan to the committee.
Like the GMSF did, the plan aims to guide development strategy in Greater Manchester until 2037 through the allocation of land for housing and employment space.
Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford and the GMCA’s lead for housing, planning and homelessness, said: “The need to map out sustainable growth and protect against unplanned development hasn’t gone away. In the midst of a public health crisis that has struck hardest in the most disadvantaged places, having a positive and ambitious vision for our city-region is more important than it’s ever been.
“The extensive work already carried out [to draft the GMSF] means we won’t be starting from scratch, and together our nine councils can get on with bringing forward a new plan that maximises brownfield development and protects Green Belt as much as is possible.”
Stockport’s withdrawal from the GMSF came after a rebellion by Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors over proposed Green Belt development in the borough. As a result of Stockport quitting the joint plan, proposed land allocations in the borough will not be included in the Places for Everyone plan.
Instead, targets for building homes and creating jobs will be distributed across nine boroughs instead of 10, while Stockport will focus on drawing up its own local plan.
However, the nine-borough committee is still expected to consult with Stockport over matters of “strategic, cross-boundary significance”, such as the scale and distribution of housing and employment land and transport infrastructure, according to a report to the GMCA board.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “We want our councils to produce a credible plan that accommodates growth in the most sustainable way possible.
“While this is a plan that nine of our councils would be developing, every borough in Greater Manchester will continue working together to meet the big challenges we all face: building back better and fairer, tackling inequalities, and decarbonising our economy.”